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suppose her exertions to be worth, so little share had she, according to his ideas, in the actual business of life, that he spoke of his want of gloves as a reflection upon him, as he might have spoken of the neglected appearance of a child. He had no wish to be illiberal-he was fond of his wife and proud of her, and very willing to keep her in gloves and anything else she wanted, but he had no feeling of right in the matter; no sense that her position ought to be anything else than that of absolute dependency. Had it been necessary to bring in a stranger to do the wife's work, that stranger would have been highly paid and a very independent person indeed. But the work of the wife represented nothing to her husband, and gave her, save by his grace and bounty, no right to anything, not even to her gloves and bonnets, her share of the living which she so largely helped to earn.

In this respect, however, the most liberal and the most generous

are often as much at fault as the coarsest. They will not allow the importance of the second part in the universal duet. They will give liberally, and praise freely, but they will not acknowledge · My wife has as much to do as I have. Without her work mine would not have half its value; we are partners in the toil of living, and she has earned the recompense of that toil as well as I.' No one will say this, nor will the world acknowledge it. What the world does say when a woman outside of the bonds of marriage claims to be allowed to work for her bread as she best can is, that she ought to go back to her proper sphere, which is home. But in that proper sphere, and at her own individual work, all credit is taken from her, her exertions are denied, her labour is undervalued. The only chance for her to get her work acknowledged is to do it very badly, when there will be an outcry. But when it is well done it is ignored, it is taken as a matter of course, it is never thought upon at all.

Let this be contrasted with the reverse case—a case by no means unfrequent, though left out of account in all popular calculations. When it happens that the woman is the richest of the two partners in life, when the living comes from her side, or when she earns it, she is considered bound to assert no consciousness of the fact. It is a horror and shame to all spectators when she makes any stand upon her moneyed superiority. That she should let it be seen that she is the supporter of the household, or remind her husband that he is in any way indebted to her, is a piece of bad taste and bad feeling for which no blame is too severe. And the woman herself is the first to feel it so. But that which seems the depth of meanness and ungenerosity in a woman is the natural and everyday attitude of the man. It is a point of honour on her part to ignore to the length of falsehood her husband's inferiority to herself in this respect; whereas the fact of her dependence upon him is kept continually before her eyes, and insisted upon, both seriously and jocularly, at every point of her career.

In all this there has been no question of the comparative mental capacity of women and men. It is a question on which I can throw injurious sentiment which I have tried to set forth the question of intellectual inferiority has nothing to do. Granting that the natural work of women is inferior to that of men, it is no less a distinct, complete, and personal work. When the question of professional labour comes in, and the claims of those women who desire to share the trades of men and compete with them have to be considered, the point becomes open to discussion. It

may

be said that a woman should not be permitted to be a doctor or a lawyer, because her abilities are inferior to those of men; but as in every discussion of this kind she is bidden to go back to her natural trade, it is clear that upon the ground of domestic life and its occupations she is dans son droit, and entitled to have her claims allowed.

As to the other question of throwing open some professions, it is a much more difficult one. I think that here, too, there is a great deal of ungenerous sentiment on the part of men, so much as to be astonishing and incomprehensible vu the strong sense of superiority which exists in the male bosom from the age of two upwards. It cannot be fear of a new competitor, and yet it looks like it. The doctors, a most liberal and highly cultivated profession, have shown themselves in this particular not more enlightened than the watchmakers, who have also resisted the entrance of women into their trade with violence; though nobody can know better than medical men how heavily weighted a woman is, how much more energy she must require to carry her to actual success in a profession, and how certain is accordingly that only a few exceptionally endowed individuals can ever enter into those lists which are so fiercely guarded. But why not let convenience and general utility be the rule here as in all other matters ? Every new piece of machinery in the manufacturing districts has been mobbed and wrecked at its first introduction, just as the female students would have been on one occasion had the gentlemen of the profession had their way; but the machine, if it is a good one, always triumphs in the end. My own opinion is that the advantage to women of having a woman-doctor to refer to is incalculabie. To discuss the peculiar ailments of their mysterious frames with a man is always a trial and pain to the young. Necessity hardens them as they go on in life, and prejudice, and the idea that women cannot be properly educated, or that by expressing a preference for a female doctor they are exposing themselves to be ridiculed as supporters of women's rights, keeps many a woman silent on the subject; but Nature herself surely may be allowed to bear testimony on such a point. I cannot imagine it to be desirable in any way that women should get over their sense of personal delicacy even with their doctor. But at all events the question whether women should be doctors or not is one, it might be supposed, to be argued quite dispassionately. They could not invade the profession all at once in such numbers as to swamp it, and as their opponents have always indignantly maintained their want of capacity for its exercise, there could not surely be a doubt in their minds as to the failure of the experiment and their own eventual triumph. But here once more the sentiment involved is a greater injury than the fact. Not only were the gates of knowledge barred, but the vilest insinuations, utterly beyond possibility of proof, were launched against the few blameless women who did nothing worse than ask for the privilege of studying for an enlightened profession. One or more writers, supposedly English gentlemen, in a very well known and influential English paper, asserted boldly that the women-students in Edinburgh and elsewhere desired to study medicine from prurient curiosity and the foulest of motives. This was said in English print in full daylight of the nineteenth century, and nobody,so far as I can remember, objected to it. The journalist was not denounced by his brethren, and public opinion took it quite coolly, as a thing it was no shame to say.

I ask the reader, who will probably have heard similar insinuations made in society, what is his opinion on the subject ? Such a shameful accusation could be susceptible of no kind of proof; the only thing that could be proved about it would be that it came out of a bad imagination. The women assailed could not come forward at whatever cost and establish their innocence. When a man utters a slander as to an actual fact, his accusation can be brought to the test, and its falsehood proved and himself punished; but the imputation of an odious motive is a far more dangerous offence, for no one can descend into the heart of the accused to bring forth proofs of its purity. Any vile fancy can in this way asperse its neighbours with impunity, and it is not an uncommon exercise. But the fact that nobody cared, that there was no protest, no objection, and that this was thought quite a permissible thing to say and publish of some halfdozen inoffensive women, is the extraordinary point in the matter. It is an injury by far more deadly and serious than a more definite offence.

I have no room to touch upon education, or other important points, but something must be said on the question of the Parliamentary franchise for women. My opinion on this point resolves itself into the very simple one, that I think it is highly absurd that I should not have a vote, if I want one- —a point upon which I am much more uncertain. To live for half a century, and not to have an opinion upon politics, as well as upon most other subjects, is next to an impossibility. In former days, when the franchise was a privilege supposed to be possessed only by persons of singular and superior qualifications, such as the freemen of a borough, for instance, or the aldermen of a corporation, women, being altogether out of the question for these dignities, might bear their deprivation sweetly, as an effect of nature. Even the ten-pound franchise represented something

a solidity, a respectability—perhaps above the level of female attainment. But now that the floodgates have been opened, and all who contribute their mites to the taxation have a right to a voice, the question is different. When every house is represented, why not my house as well as the others ? and indeed, I may ask, on what ground is my house, paying higher rates than a great many others, to be left

as well as property and place, are left out of the considerations, and this is the only qualification required, the stigma upon us that we are, in intelligence and trustworthiness, below the very lowest of the low, would be unbearable if it were not absurd. When even the franchise was a new thing in course of development the stigma was not so great, but now that there remains only one further step to take, and the suffrage is about to become the right of every male individual with a thatch over his head, it is difficult to understand the grounds on which women householders are shut out. I do not comprehend the difficulty of separating, in this respect, the independent and self-supporting woman from the much larger number of those who are married. In every other case the law makes no difficulty whatever about such a separation, and in this I think it is very easy. If householding and ratepaying are the conditions of possessing the franchise, a man and his wife hold but one house and pay one set of rates. She has merged her public existence in his—for the convenience of the world it is quite necessary and desirable that there should be but one representative of the household. The two of them together support the State and its expenditure only as much as the female householder does who lives next door; they do not pay double taxes, nor undertake a double responsibility; and the married woman is by no means left out of the economy of the State. She is represented by her husband. She votes in her husband; her household has its due dignity and importance in the commonwealth. The persons who are altogether left out are those who have no husband to represent them, who pay their contributions to the funds of the country out of their own property or earnings, and have to transact for themselves all their business, whatever it may be. Some of them have never had husbands; in which case it is sometimes asked, with the graceful courtesy which characterises the whole discussion, why such a privilege should be bestowed upon these rejected of all men, who have never been able to please or to attract what is called the other sex. But this is illogical, I submit, with diffidence, since if these poor ladies have thus missed the way of salvation, their nonsuccess should call forth the pity rather than the scorn of men who feel their own notice to be heaven for a woman, and who ought to be anxiously desirous to tender any such trifling compensation as a vote as some poor salve to the mortification of the unmarried. Some of us, on the other hand, have been put down from the eminence of married life summarily, and by no fault of ours. We have been obliged to bear all the burdens of a citizen upon our shoulders, to bring up children for the State, and make shift to perform alone almost all the duties which our married neighbours share between them. And to reward us for this unusual strain of exertion we are left out altogether in every calculation. We are the only individuals in the country (or will soon be) entirely unrepresented, left without any means of expressing our opinions on those measures which will shape, probably, the fate of our children. This seems to me ridiculous experiment and their own eventual triumph. But here once more the sentiment involved is a greater injury than the fact. Not only were the gates of knowledge barred, but the vilest insinuations, utterly beyond possibility of proof, were launched against the few blameless women who did nothing worse than ask for the privilege of studying for an enlightened profession. One or more writers, supposedly English gentlemen, in a very well known and influential English paper, asserted boldly that the women-students in Edinburgh and elsewhere desired to study medicine from prurient curiosity and the foulest of motives. This was said in English print in full daylight of the nineteenth century, and nobody, so far as I can remember, objected to it. The journalist was not denounced by his brethren, and public opinion took it quite coolly, as a thing it was no shame to say.

I ask the reader, who will probably have heard similar insinuations made in society, what is his opinion on the subject ? Such a shameful accusation could be susceptible of no kind of proof; the only thing that could be proved about it would be that it came out of a bad imagination. The women assailed could not come forward at whatever cost and establish their innocence. When a man utters a slander as to an actual fact, his accusation can be brought to the test, and its falsehood proved and himself punished; but the imputation of an odious motive is a far more dangerous offence, for no one can descend into the heart of the accused to bring forth proofs of its purity. Any vile fancy can in this way asperse its neighbours with impunity, and it is not an uncommon exercise. But the fact that nobody cared, that there was no protest, no objection, and that this was thought quite a permissible thing to say and publish of some halfdozen inoffensive women, is the extraordinary point in the matter. It is an injury by far more deadly and serious than a more definite offence.

I have no room to touch upon education, or other important points, but something must be said on the question of the Parliamentary franchise for women. My opinion on this point resolves itself into the very simple one, that I think it is highly absurd that I should not have a vote, if I want one—a point upon which I am much more uncertain. To live for half a century, and not to bare an opinion upon politics, as well as upon most other subjects, is next to an impossibility. In former days, when the franchise was a privilege supposed to be possessed only by persons of singular and superior qualifications, such as the freemen of a borough, for instance, or the aldermen of a corporation, women, being altogether out of the question for these dignities, might bear their deprivation sweetly, as an effect of nature. Even the ten-pound franchise represented something -a solidity, a respectability-perhaps above the level of female attainment. But now that the floodgates have been opened, and all who contribute their mites to the taxation have a right to a voice, the question is different. When every house is represented, why not my house as well as the others ? and indeed, I may ask, on what ground is my house, paying higher rates than a great many others, to be left

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